Italy – You’ll find us in our place as we can’t stay in yours. On the “Diamante” investigation

You’ll find us in our place as we can’t stay in yours. On the “Diamante” investigation

At dawn on 16th March 2022 two anarchists were arrested in Rome by the DIGOS police and the ROS carabinieri on orders of the Power of Attorney of Genoa and Public Prosecutor Federico Manotti.

The charge is fabrication and possession of explosive material (article 1 and 2, bill 895/67) with the intent to attack public safety (article 435 of the penal code), all this with purposes of terrorism and subversion of the democratic order (article 270 bis 1) in collusion with other persons yet to be identified.

Alongside this investigation named “Diamante”, there is another open investigation named “Tenaglia” following incendiary sabotages on pylons, repeaters and server booths which occurred in 2021 in Liguria, and even episodes that happened many years ago, listed, even only formally, and mentioned in previous investigations and failed investigations by the same prosecutor in Genoa. This seems to be more like a strategy to exaggerate the repressive operation, given that there is little or nothing that concretely links these episodes to the reason for the arrest for possession of explosive material.

Obviously in the investigation there is the usual revisitation of significance and analyses often incoherent and botched, which intend to schematise the “trends” of the anarchist movement into “formations” and a superficial job of copy-and-paste on things already written in other anti-anarchist investigations, which we absolutely think are pointless to dwell on.

The investigation that led to the arrest started with the finding of explosive material, electrical material and other devices in a forest in Liguria in June 2021. In the papers of the investigation we read that containers were found by an unknown person who later declared he was looking for drugs, and who after the finding went to report it to the carabinieri together with a friend. The pair collaborated with the police and gave directions and descriptions, and were considered suspects, investigated, intercepted and shadowed by the same carabinieri they turned to, and were later exonerated.

After the finding of the containers, the carabinieri set up photo/video traps to “catch” anyone who went near the area. Subsequently a male person was photographed from behind near the spot, a person whom the police declared they recognized and had identified.

From the investigation file and the report of forensic police and the RIS [Raggruppamento Carabinieri Investigazioni Scientifiche] of Parma, it emerges that comparisons of samples in the DNA database are all negative, i.e. there is no DNA trace, fingerprint or other on the many pieces of evidence found in the forest, which would be useful to identify anyone. It must be pointed out that in similar circumstance police carried out interceptions and shadowing on comrades known by the two accused and they also made a furtive DNA “sample-taking” from glasses used in a kiosk-bar by a comrade who was visiting in Genoa.

In the “Diamante” investigation, in which Gianluca and I are accused, as in recent Italian investigations, another element that is criminalized and considered as evidence useful to the determination of the sentence and the presence of guilt in general, is solidarity. As for the judges, we leave them the “free conviction” because for us it remains a principle of fraternity which we’ll never give up. In support to this suggestion, the investigators particularly insist on penal proceedings started against us and another 5 comrades following the disruption of the “Scripta Manent” trial. During the hearing of 11th February 2019 in the bunker courtroom of the Turin jail, a substantial group of comrades expressed their warm and concrete solidarity with the anarchists on trial. Prosecutor Roberto Sparagna was unable to speak and formulate his indictment. After several chants and the reading of a text in solidarity, the Court interrupted the hearing and the courtroom was evacuated by the intervention of anti-riot squads.

Coherently with the strategy employed by repressors till then, a strategy aimed at isolating prisoners and undermining support to them, persecuting demonstrations of closeness and solidarity, following the presence [of comrades] in the courtroom in February, Turin prosecutors issued about six expulsion orders from the city and charged seven people with disruption of public office and insulting, charges that subsequently led to sentences ranging from 6 months to a year of imprisonment in the first-grade trial.

Besides these proceedings, another aggravating circumstance affecting Gianluca is the recent operation “Sibilla” from Perugia prosecutors, where along with 5 comrades, he is charged with article 270 bis (association with purposes of terrorism and subversion of the democratic order), for the conception, editing, printing and distribution of the anarchist paper “Vetriolo”. They are also accused of article 414 (instigation to commit crimes), for writing and spreading communiques instigating to commit crimes against the personality of the State, with purposes of terrorism and subversion of the democratic order. In the context of this operation two counter-information websites were also blocked because they were considered aggravating elements of the specific crime of instigation (through a digital instrument).

Among anarchists we often say we are not interested in knowing whether the accused are “guilty” or “innocent”. And that’s it. Little or nothing should matter to us to recognize ourselves as such in front of bourgeois justice. Instead we should talk about “business as usual” for revolutionaries, at least in this case and according to my personal opinion: arrests, searches, investigations, the State’s repressive attacks (to mention only the bad things).

This doesn’t mean that we should endure events passively, but we should recognize that our battlefield is elsewhere: in the streets, in places of work exploitation, where there is authority and abuse of power, with their structures and those responsible, where humans and animals are locked up, where the Earth is poisoned, where direct action and attack take shape and give sense to the theories of anarchism.

We can’t feel we are “persecuted” by the state or “victims” of repression if, after we have acknowledged the principles and perspectives of anarchism, we have declared social war on Capitalism, all institutions, bosses and forms of authority. It would be unacceptable and incongruous to perceive oneself as victim or persecuted and it would lead us to easy distancing, dissociations, the risk of disowning the ideas in which we believe in exchange for some sort of fictitious [sentence] reduction or paternalistic reward.

Back to the interpretation of the file, by a bitter irony, the fact hits that in times of war it is NATO that is producing literature in this investigation, as it lectures on the definition of so-called LED (improvised explosive device). Acknowledging the analysis of the material seized, in fact, the Chemistry department of the RIS carabinieri of Parma used precisely the erudite preparation of the military organization. Probably some “technical operator”, as repressors and murderers in uniform are called in democracies, between cluster and hydrogen bombardments over civilians’ heads and contracts for the supply of weapons and ammunitions to the countries on war, found the time to define the typology and techniques of fabrication of “improvised explosive devices”.

NATO is not an organization of defence but an imperialist military organization, therefore one that expands its influence of geopolitical power; in fact there have been many wars where NATO operated actively by invading territories. By an absurd paradox, however, today the security that States aspire to is outlined in terms of the level of nuclear potential available to their armies, of the extraction and management power over fossil mineral resources and of membership to this military organization. These policies are the clearest teaching on the fact that the establishment of relations of strength is always based on the violence that the various subjects are able to achieve.

Certainly international politics has nothing to do with morals or ethics, but in a rather exemplified manner it represents, through the expansionist aims of military organizations and Empires, the tight grip of power, which on a large scale in the warlike capitalist politics, plunders strategic territories functional to the economic interests of the States, big companies, multinationals and financing banks.

On a world level governments, of whatever kind, have been cooperating with the imperialist and neo-colonialist expansion of the States and big powers; in a bond between political, military and economic power, in recent history they organized neo-colonialism in Africa. For example, Italy helped the military occupation of countries such as Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, in an extenuating work of global integration to the impositions of profit made by market lobbies and for the exploitation of resources, according to the western needs and not only. All this, managing migrations of the oppressed with an iron fist through the financing of dictatorships for border control, massacres in the Mediterranean, the building of concentration camps in Libya and the use of mercenaries and the military in raids on the borders of East Europe and along North-African coasts. None of their policies has ever freed any “developing country” from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

But oppression doesn’t only take form on a world level. If we turn our gaze closer to us, we can see that what governments in Italy are proposing on a national level in their “post-democratic” form is certainly not the best political organization but the consecration of the ruling elite in the name of privilege and the retention of the established order through profit.

In fact, even leftist populist parties in Europe faced the economic recession with austerity, making the exploited pay for it with an increase in the debt crisis, while delocalization of production has produced unemployment, more people exploited abroad and the fattening of capital for big companies. In certain cases capitalism found the solution to the globalization crisis through protectionism, increasing wealth for producers in an endless spiral of inequality and exploitation for the privilege of the few and to the detriment of the many.

Critique of this system of power can only be total. In opposition to this imposed authoritarian order, revolts, paths of radical struggle, individual practices of liberation, revolutions are, as always in history, moments when the struggle for dignity and social justice determine human, ethical and social growth and individual and collective emancipation. The anarchist struggle and revolutionary practices are also part of this path.

Rebellion against oppression has always occurred and is still alive in spite of nationalism, repression and reformism, which have always narrowed the horizons conquered by revolutions and the struggle for freedom, and in the western world they are trying to give prominence to the order-liberal values of production and consume and the monopoly of State violence, in the exercise of its armed forces.

In Italy, in particular, this was made possible also thanks to political characters who covered up their deliberate civilian massacres with State secret, while today a sophisticated use of the legislative and judicial apparatus is allowing the formulation of charges of massacre against comrades, referring to massacres that in fact never happened. Soon comrades who haven’t given up their revolutionary path will see the continuation of trials against them in Italian courts with the charge of massacre. This vindictive retorsion legitimized by power is a clear attempt at directly striking comrades and also the stature, coherence and integrity of the anarchist idea. This is part of power games, including the democratic one, and of their constant commitment in creating a historical narrative of mass revisionism that can directly influence collective psychology and indirectly assist the social management of internal order in the struggle against its enemies.

In this respect, we send a greeting beyond the bars to an example of determination and coherence, comrade Alfredo Cospito who throughout years of imprisonment in High Security units, has stubbornly continued to defend his anarchist idea and revolutionary practices. With his open writings to the anarchist movement, with his contributions to meetings and papers, with the publication of his books, he has contributed to the debate outside prison, protested and expressed solidarity with other prisoners without falling into ideological and political compromises or taking distance from the practices of anarchism. Now, also for him, as a form of punishment, the spectre of the 41bis regime has materialized, a regime of hard prison that legitimizes the State to carry out psychological-physical torture and plans the annihilation of the individual in the “free democratic” republic of Italy.

Alfredo was transferred to the 41bis regime at the beginning of May. Therefore now more than ever I reaffirm my solidarity and closeness with Alfredo, a friend and comrade who will always see us on his side, and I renew my solidarity with the comrades on trial on charges of massacre.

The function of repression is that of retaining relations of privilege, but as long as they continue to exist they will always find indomitable individuals ready to fight them.

Long live anarchy.

Evelin Sterni, and anarchist


Translated by Act for freedom now!